Finding the cold a little hard to handle, and tired of the never ending sniffles and coughs? One of the best ways to stay fighting fit and get in top form is to eat these delicious body boosting foods to help kickstart the immune system.
Sweet Potatoes: Naturally sweet and delicious, and cheap and versatile, too, sweet potatoes are a huge hit in many households. Yet, did you know that they’re also a favourite wellness warrior? This is because they are rich in beta carotene, which scientists believe trigger our body’s infection-fighting army of soldiers, known as T-Cells. Next time you feel a cold coming on, or your children are run-down and tired, try making a batch of sweet potato crisps for them to snack on, or try making a comforting sweet potato soup.
Eggs: Unless you’re lucky enough to be lying on a sun lounger in the Caribbean, it can be tricky to keep up our dosage of vitamin D, AKA the sunshine vitamin, in the cooler months. The problem is, many researchers believe that a vitamin D-deficiency can leave us vulnerable to illness. Thankfully, eggs (as well as mushrooms) contain naturally-occurring vitamin D, as well as immune-loving B vitamins and selenium. Try piling your plate high with scrambled eggs for a healthy boost in the mornings, or find a quality vitamin D oral spray as a supplement or alternative.
Broccoli: If you’re anything like us, then you’ll have lost count of the amount of times you’ve told your little ones that they need to eat their greens to keep healthy. Yet, there’s more than just a sprinkling of truth to this! In particular, broccoli contains sulforaphane, which activates special genes to create anti-oxidant enzymes. These enzymes flush out free radicals from the body, and can also reduce inflammation. If you or your family are not a broccoli fan, try grating it into homemade fish cakes or burgers, or blending into Bolognese sauces – behold the wonder of the hidden vegetable!
Yoghurt: Natural yoghurts (and, no, that doesn’t mean ones full of sugar), such as Greek yoghurt, contain plenty of probiotics which keep our guts happy and ready to fight off unwanted nasties. For an extra boost, you could also try hunting out one of the many probiotic supplements which now on the market.
Oats: A comforting, warming bowl of porridge may be one of the best foods to start your day with when it comes to fighting off germs. Studies have found that oats increase the immune system’s response to bacterial infection. This is because of the type of fibre it contains (beta-glucan), which helps our clever white blood cells to hunt out and destroy infections more quickly. Try making our Sweetpea Flapjack, or perhaps a hot fruit crumble (berries are also great for immune systems!) topped with our Super Oat Flapjack Mix.
Coconut Oil: Coconut oil is not only wonderful for free-from cooking and baking, but it’s also a miracle worker for our insides, too. A spoonful of coconut oil can provide the body with plenty of fatty acids, one of which is immune-boosting lauric acid. Once it’s inside our body, lauric acid is converted to monolaurin, which an anti-viral agent that can fight off bugs and nasties.
Garlic: A true wellness warrior, garlic is so powerful that it was once used to treat gangrene during the war! The key is in the allicin, which boosts the immune system and is released when you chop or crush the cloves, ready for cooking. Perfect for tossing into pasta dishes or bolognese or, if you’re feeling brave, even eating raw.
Eat well and you may find you hold those sniffles and coughs off a little better!